Sunday, September 20, 2009
Twittering About Cattle Class & The Holy Cow
By Manuwant Choudhary
India's deputy foreign minister Sashi Tharoor is in trouble for twittering "Yes I will be travelling cattle-class...in solidarity with our Holy Cows", replying to a twitter by a fan on whether he will be travelling cattle class (third class train) to Kerala.
And the Congress Party is demanding his resignation for calling 3rd class train travellers `cattle' and the politicians of India as `The Holy Cows'.
India's Prime Minister now says it was only a joke.
And Sashi Tharoor explains that `cattle class' is an expression not to demean people who travel third class while The Holy Cow means principles and ideas that are considered `sacrosanct' and not be be challenged by anyone.
The media (Hindi and English) both simply also do not understand English and the breaking news is that Sashi Tharoor has apologised!
I'm not sure about the apology but if Tharoor has to apologise he must apologise not to the Congress Party or the politicians but to the people of India for calling third class trains `cattle class'. Its simply worse.
Mr. Tharoor as a press aide to the United Nations chief has perhaps spent too many years abroad.
I fear the idiom `cattle class' comes from the fact that it is possible to take your cattle along with you in the trains...like even goats and sheep, so abroad like in the photograph above there is space enough to take cattle in the trains but in India its simply not possible. He should have coined another `idiom' for travelling in Indian trains...`Bee Class' (see how Indians travel on the roof and even atop train engines!.
Or can you suggest a word?
India's Hindu party also tried playing the Hindu card by saying please do not insult the Cow - Our Mother!
For Cows Sake Learn English.